How to Run a Webinar for the Real Estate Development Business
The necessary technology for online conferencing has been around for years now and many companies have benefited from conducting educational webinars.
What is the webinar? It’s a combination of the words web + seminar, which already explains the educational or training element of these meetings. It is also a powerful online tool for promotion and selling new real estate development projects. Let’s consider these two primary purposes.
Online conferencing seminars are great to explain a topic or train the audience when you cannot meet them for some reason. Sometimes it can be because people are too spread out, for example, if it is an international company and the top managers are located in different offices around the world. In the time of remote work, this can also be a convenient way to reach a team.
Does it mean that everyone should start doing webinars right away? Yes, and no. Webinars aren’t new hot water and you should use this tool selectively, understanding clearly what you want to convey as well as when and where it will be relevant.
One of the things that we would like to say from the very beginning: webinars are not a replacement for face to face meetings or pitches. Their primary goal is education, not a freestyle conversation between business partners.
Promotion & Selling Development Projects:
As we have mentioned above, webinars are also a good online tool to consider when you are choosing the channels for promotion and selling your real estate projects.
The benefits of conducting such an online event include:
- Smaller budget (compared to the Open Doors event offline)
- Possibility of reaching a larger audience (since you are not confined by the location of your potential customers)
- Technology enhancements (you have the opportunity to combine the presentation of real estate development with the latest technology, for example, a drone video of the land, VR tour, AR features, or ability to showcase the home configuration in real-time.)
Online promotional webinars also offer the possibility to engage with the entire audience, personalizing their experience at the same time. You can also capture them into your marketing automation loop, which is important since the process of purchasing a property is not a short one, and therefore, you need to remind your potential customers about yourself.
Webinars also should only touch upon the topics of your or your company’s expertise. If you’re an expert in family housing real estate, you should focus on that instead of running webinars about five key issues in shopping mall construction, etc. (Well, you can speak about those, but the level of credibility will be lower.) Focus on your competence – and trust us, there is always you can teach your customers about (whatever your area of expertise is.)
Three cornerstones of a successful webinar
You can name many factors that impact the success of your webinar, but there are three cornerstones or pillars that your webinar depends on. Without thinking strategically about these, you simply won’t reach any kind of results (we don’t even mention reaching your expected results.)
What are these three pillars?
- Distribution channels
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
Content is king. This phrase has been around for years, especially with the rise of SEO marketing. However, it still is true – and especially so in the case of the webinars.
In order to teach, train, or educate your audience, you need to understand clearly what you want them to learn. This means that before you mention your webinar to your customers, you need to invest time in developing the material for it.
We have mentioned above that webinars aren’t a simple face-to-face business meeting. They also aren’t a recorded zoom meeting.
A couple of advice from us based on our experience:
- Prepare your content to be communicated ahead of time. It can be a presentation or video, depending on your preference. However, make sure you do a test run prior to the actual webinar so you know that everything will work as you plan it to.
- Remember that the material presented during the webinar should be short and crisp – since you have the opportunity to explain the video or presentation, include only the key points in the textual format so that your listeners can follow the topic and focus more on you.
- Be clear on the narrative. Don’t just rely on freestyling. Once again, this is the main difference between a webinar and a business meeting. Your aim is to train/educate your customers and you should follow a simple and straightforward plan.
It would be good if your webinar also has a Q&A time because it allows:
- For your customers: to clarify some of the things that, perhaps, were not as clear as you planned or they wanted more information on an issue.
- For you: to identify things that can be reworked in the future or clarified in more detail. There are always things that can be improved.
After you present the webinar, provide a place for discussion and feedback. It can be done via a survey afterward, a page on your website, or social media.
Invitation & Distribution
The way you distribute your webinar is also important. If this webinar is available for several customers, send them a personalized invitation email so they can respond to it and mark their calendars. If your webinar is aimed at larger audiences, provide the link in the social media or via a more general invitation email.
Advice from Wild Dots in regards to the distribution:
- Whatever distribution channel you decide on, make sure you give your visitors enough time to adjust their schedules accordingly and attend the webinar.
- Avoid sending an email that says “Webinar: Starting NOW!” Even if you’re reminding about the event to those who have responded, send the note at least 10-15 minutes prior to the beginning. People should be in the right context and mindset to be able to learn. When you give them a few minutes to get a cup of coffee or finish the tasks they were working on, you will get a more responsive audience as a result.
- When you send the invitation to the webinar, make sure you include the following information:
- Name of the conference / webinar / event
- Clear agenda of the event
- Speakers’ names and their right to speak. The right to speak is the experience that supports the credibility of the speaker.
The majority of the webinars are around 60 minutes long. This allows for an introduction (around 5-7 minutes), the main part of the presentation (around 30-40 minutes), and a Q&A section. Depending on the topic or your customers’ experience, balance the main presentation time and the Q&A.
Advice from Wild Dots in regards to the timeline:
- Create an outline to understand who is speaking when (if you are presenting the webinar with someone else from your team), who is answering the questions, etc.
- Rehearse all logistics of the webinar. There can never be too much rehearsal time. Do a test run of the webinar (for example, for your teammates or even just in front of the mirror.)
- Once again, make sure your presentation or video works (and your internet connection is strong.)
How long does it take to get ready for a webinar?
The time will differ depending on the topic and the people involved. However, since webinars are not just a business meeting, you should devote time to preparation.
Our latest webinars took about a month to prepare and the time was divided into three major parts:
- ⅓ time – defining the goals of what we would like to reach with this webinar
- ⅓ time – creating and writing down the content that we would like to share with our potential customers
- ⅓ time – rehearsing, rehearsing, and then rehearsing some more.
Remember that a lot also depends on your target audience and their level of experience with Real Estate or any other topic of your webinar. As always in marketing, don’t try to reach everyone at once and with the same message. The results from several webinars for different audiences will be much better than from one single webinar for all, so remember about this when you are calculating the resources required to run this endeavor.